Saturday, November 15, 2008

For Those Whom the Traffic Lights are Red ...

I've been texting Pete Day a bit about this - so I do hope it will make sense. If anyone reads it and am not sure quite what I am on about then do feel free to ignore and move on! Essentially the thought for this blog was prompted by a comment that Rob Rufus made in one of his more recent sermons - "The Struggle For The Authentic Part 3 - Qualifications For The Blessings - Faith or Works?" - about how things have been very tough for the Rufus family and for City Church International but recently;

"When I woke up this morning I felt that the air was clear again and the pollution of darkness and oppression had evaporated and lifted off us. I don't want to be weirdly spiritual but the very natural atmosphere has had the pollution blown off it. Then every traffic light driving here was green and God was saying; "It's a green light - it's a go-ahead! ... Sometimes in God things aren't a coincidence - there is a prophetic significance".

Just after listening to that portion of the sermon, I had to drive to a night shift and was thinking absently about what Rob said until I came to realise that every traffic light I was coming upto (and there are a lot in Birmingham) was RED. Every light! Rob said that some things aren't a coincidence - I couldn't help but think each and everyone of my red lights weren't a coincidence because they were changing so frequently just as I drove upto them - and then staying red for what seemed like an obscene amount of time! If that wasn't bad enough, my car proceeded to break down on my way home from a night shift and needed water in the radiator.

So what I found myself thinking was that if God was saying to Rob Rufus through his green lights - "It's a green light - it's a go-ahead!" - what was He saying to me through every light being red?! Initially I was quite down-cast and found myself unhelpfully drawing comparisons between myself and Rob and Hong Kong and feeling that all-too familiar sense once again of condemnation creeping over me and that all-too familar voice; "Rob is a great man of faith - you'll never be like him! What?! You reckon you can even stand in the same room as Rob!? You're pathetic" - and so on and so on. I think most will know what I am talking about.

But as I waited on God I actually began to find a quieter but more insistent voice speaking and it was speaking words of hope and words of comfort. And He was saying things like; "The light is red just before it turns green. The night is blackest just before the dawn" and the sense that I was receiving was not that the red lights were condemning lights telling me that I was useless and my life was never going to go anywhere - but rather that this was a time to wait on the Lord and renew my strength and mount up with wings as eagles because the lights were about to change.

So if anyone else feels like me that their life is in a "red zone" at the moment, I hope this will be something of a comfort to you. God is absolutely and utterly 100% sovereign and each portion of our lives are carefully planned out and approved and set by Him. Nothing happens without His say-so. Even a sparrow cannot fall from it's nest without our Father knowing about it - how much more will He care for and love those He has appointed, predestined, called, justified AND made righteous?! Those traffic lights will turn green soon ... and when they do we will speed off all the faster because of that time of waiting on God! It's never a waste!


Anonymous said...

That is really good, Dan! Thanks so much!! :)


lydia joy said...

Yes it is encouraging!!!

Dan Bowen said...

Thx girls - glad u liked :)

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Think It's all the same thing Dan..the inward upward outward cycle.

Boy, have I been through it over the years....not least seeing Rory and Wendy achieve what they have, when they like me stood in my lounge 14 years ago with nothing...well nothing that anyone could point to. So the devil comes on to me and says...see've missed it with all this piano tuning...see what Rory and Wendy are doing.

But the truth is my calling is becoming clearer as I learn pacing through family life and my job...which is ideal for waiting on God. I so believe that about you too. The devil is a stinker and indeed it is darkest before the dawn.
The cycles are real...and operate all while bigger cycles are going on. I intended to write about this actually.Great post.

Nick Cameron said...

Hey Dan - great post! Was reminded of that verse 'strength will rise as you wait upon the Lord' so maybe while the lights are red is a time for that strength to rise and a strengthening to come to where you feel the weakest!

And the other thing that I want to say to you is that when you get to Heaven you will hear those words 'well done good and faithful servant' not 'now look Dan look at this person or this person or this person,' - No way! God has a unique path for you! Rob Rufus could not nurse in a childern's hospital or hospice as you have done - we are all different with different pathways, different giftings and different lives! Don't let the enemy twist your giftings into failures cos they aren't - you are you! And dear Dan - God is singing over you. He is delighting over YOU! He's loving you! He's at the red light with you! He's with you every step of the way - cos that is what He has promised and He is faithful to all of His promises - so bro! Whether the light is red, green or amber today doesn't actually matter cos the lover of your soul, the lifter or your head, your shield, your rampart, your strong deliverer ain't gonna let you down!

Sheila said...

Geeeeesh. I am loving the encouragement YOU are receiving, Dan! It has me a bit envious. *grin*

(I'm coming down with a cold - a memento of sorts, brought home with love, by my husband from Haiti. Hmmmm...a Haitian germ. Bleh. Not a pleasant thought, and it has me feeling rather sorry for myself. ::snifff:: Literally.)

s'okay. I'll pretend those above words are for me, too. Nick, whoever you are, you have a tremendous gift of encouragement on your life. The body of Christ needs you!

Nick Cameron said...

Yeah I am on a mission for some positive encouragement for Dan (can you tell!?)- he's a star and as I have known as long as I can remember and has walked, scarily at times, similar pathways he's kind of the brother I never had! :-) Sorry Dan!!!!

Hey Sheila!
Sorry to hear that you have a cold.....and yes the above comment is true for you too! Thanks for your encouragement too!

I read an interesting paragraph about something Billy Graham said the other day - he said that if someone made and then kept 10 promises why do we doubt the 11th or the 12th promise and it hit me full on - I find myself questioning God about promises but He is faithful to them all and if He says that He will not leave us or forsake us - then He won't and I need to hang on to these solid promise truths ........ even when the lights are red!